Formula 1 Racing

Tsunoda fined €40,000 for his “offensive language” on radio · F1 · RaceFans

Yuki Tsunoda, RB, Red Bull Ring, 2024

Yuki Tsunoda has been fined €40,000 (£33,900), half of which has been suspended, for using an ableist slur on his radio during qualifying.

The RB driver exclaimed in frustration at drivers queueing in front of him in the pit lane during Q1. “The guys are fucking retarded,” Tsunoda told his race engineer Mattia Spini, who replied: “Yuki no worries, don’t worry, plenty of time.”

The stewards ruled Tsunoda breached of article 12.2.1 (k) of the International Sporting Code, which forbids “any misconduct”. They accepted the Japanese driver’s explanation that he did not fully understand the implications of the English word he used.

“During the hearing the driver was very apologetic and explained that because English is not his first language he was unaware until after the session what the meaning of the words used is in the English language,” they noted. “He said that he was horrified when he learned this. He contended that his understanding of the words was different, but acknowledged that this should not be considered as an excuse for what he did.

“The stewards appreciate the honesty of the driver, but reinforce the fact the words used are offensive and wholly inappropriate. To have used such words over a platform that is available to the public amounted to misconduct as defined in article 20 of the International Sporting Code. Considering the circumstances, the stewards determine that a severe fine is required, but also take into account the genuine remorse of the driver and his offer to issue a public apology and for these reasons decide to suspend part of the fine imposed.”

While Tsunoda must pay €20,000 immediately, a further €20,000 is suspended for the rest of the season “on condition that no infringement of a similar nature occurs.”

Tsunoda issued an apology for his remarks on social media. “I wanted to say big apologies what I said in the radio today,” he stated. “Obviously I didn’t use it intentionally and was completely misunderstanding from myself that exact meaning of it.

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“I now have better understanding for what the word means and am very apologetic for what I said. This type of language has no place and is not tolerated and for that I am sorry.”

Max Verstappen used the same word, and other similar terms, on his radio after he collided with Lance Stroll during practice for the 2020 Portuguese Grand Prix.

However the FIA has begun to…

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